Glance at the Past show

Glance at the Past

Summary: The Grand Rapids Historical Commission Podcast features "A Glance at the Past," a local history radio project. Take a listen to give you a glimpse of Grand Rapids in the past.

Join Now to Subscribe to this Podcast
  • Visit Website
  • RSS
  • Artist: GRHC
  • Copyright: ℗ & © 2009, Grand Rapids Historical Commission


 Roads and Streets | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 128

The early roads into the village of Grand Rapids were along Indian trails, and the influence of these trails on the city can still be seen today.

 Mill Creek Bass Hatchery | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 126

The only institution of its kind in the world, the Michigan Fish Commission's hatchery was located within three miles of Grand Rapids.

 The Irish | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 122

The Irish seemed to have followed the direction of the westward movement on the Erie Canal and later the railroads.

 Blacksmiths and Carpenters | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 124

The first trade established in the village of Grand Rapids was that of blacksmith, and the carpenters were not far behind.  

 The Nelson Elms | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 126

Two fine elm trees stood on Bostwick St. At least three feet in diameter, and sixty feet high, their wide tops shaded both sides of the street. The city was ready to cut them down.

 Historic City Elections | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 138

More than one town has claimed itself the GOP's birthplace. One of those towns was Grand Rapids, back in 1854.

 Homemade Auto | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 116

Several enterprising youngsters, bent on the possession of an automobile, but not having the price of one, contrived a ride in a horseless carriage.

 Cosmetics Business | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 130

For 19th century women, making a living was fraught with hurdles. Nora Husted found way to support herself and her five children by making face cream in her kitchen from an old family recipe. It grew into a Grand Rapids business that lasted over 50 years.

 St. Cecilia Building | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 148

A small group of nine women were responsible for the construction, in 1893, of the St. Cecilia building, dedicated to the purpose of music.

 Jess Elster is Dead | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 126

Jess Elster was a symbol of semi-pro baseball. He came to Grand Rapids in 1904 and played his first season as a catcher the next year. When he died in December of 1950, he had been "Mr. Baseball" of the city for almost 50  years.

 Grand Rapids Hydraulic Company | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 118

The privately owned Grand Rapids Hydraulic Company provided drinking water from creeks and springs to residents from 1848 until the end of the 19th century.

 Viva Flaherty | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 129

Viva Flaherty attended Central High School, Vassar College, and the University of Michigan before taking a position at the Bissell Settlement House in Grand Rapids in 1903. Several years later she left for New York City to work with newly arriving immigrants. She was always an outspoken champion of the underdog.

 Wurzburg's Toyland | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 138

Wurzburg's Department store ran large ads in the Grand Rapids Herald and Press announcing the visit of Norwegian Hero of the Arctic and his Siberian sled dogs to Wurzburg's Toyland.

 Grand Rapids Romance | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 132

Grand Rapids Romance, produced by Gilligham & Smith Enterprises, owners of the Orpheum Theater, featured local citizens in a suspenseful, romantic story. The newspaper reviews were mixed.

 Hoffman Apartments | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 134

The Hoffman apartments on Ransom NE had many modern conveniences to attract upscale tenants. The seven room suites made for comfortable living close to downtown.


Login or signup comment.